Geographic variation of notified Ross River virus infections in Queensland, Australia, 1985-1996.

S TongCentre for Public Health Research and School of Planning, Landscape Architecture, Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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P BiCentre for Public Health Research and School of Planning, Landscape Architecture, Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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J HayesCentre for Public Health Research and School of Planning, Landscape Architecture, Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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K DonaldCentre for Public Health Research and School of Planning, Landscape Architecture, Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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J MackenzieCentre for Public Health Research and School of Planning, Landscape Architecture, Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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The spatial and temporal variations of Ross River virus infections reported in Queensland, Australia, between 1985 and 1996 were studied by using the Geographic Information System. The notified cases of Ross River virus infection came from 489 localities between 1985 and 1988, 805 between 1989 and 1992, and 1,157 between 1993 and 1996 (chi2(df = 2) = 680.9; P < 0.001). There was a marked increase in the number of localities where the cases were reported by 65 percent for the period of 1989-1992 and 137 percent for 1993-1996, compared with that for 1985-1988. The geographic distribution of the notified Ross River virus cases has expanded in Queensland over recent years. As Ross River virus disease has impacted considerably on tourism and industry, as well as on residents of affected areas, more research is required to explore the causes of the geographic expansion of the notified Ross River virus infections.

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